West Wing Wednesday Night #14

Written by  //  April 29, 2009  //  Alexandra T. Greenhill, West Wing (WWWN)  //  No comments

I must start off this invite with great appreciation to all who have been faithful to this process and with gratefulness for all of your great comments in person and by e-mail.

THANK you all for making, the 1st anniversary edition on April 8th so memorable and so wonderful. It will be forever etched in my mind and my heart, especially when the assembly, led behind the scenes so successfully by David Fushtey (et un sincere merci, Sir David!!!), presented your moderator and host with gift of the MAGNIFICENT MIRACULOUS GAVEL, traveled from afar, beautifully engraved and empowered with such authority that all order in our immediate universe was immediately restored.

I was left speechless and even now I do not feel that words, in any of the languages I speak, would do justice to describe how touched I was by this presentation.

THANK YOU all from the bottom (and top and sides and all) of my heart!!!

My energy thus renewed, I am eagerly awaiting the opportunity to bring you all together again (and put the MAGNIFICENT MIRACULOUS GAVEL to use!). So the second Wednesday of the month, Wednesday May 13th is our next scheduled session together and do we ever have great topics to discuss!

Beyond politics (it will be very soon after the Federal Liberal Convention in BC and the day after the BC election! – so this is a “sujet incontournable”!), I would like us to focus at this session on our capacity collectively and individually to deal with change. We still act as if change is the occasional thing that happens and is the exception rather than the rule, when all evidence points to the fact that the new rule of survival of the fittest is favors those who adapt well to the RCCR (“rapid-cycle-changing-reality”). When John Kotter introduced his theories of change in 1996, he did so in response to findings that 30% of all new ventures fail, and that those who succeed rarely do so on budget, on time and true to objectives. Well 2006 and 2009 data show that this state of affairs has essentially not changed, in spite of TONS of research and effort to improve change management.

So what are we missing? What capacity exists within each one of your organizations and industries to enable high performance and successful on-going transformation? How does one change culture, which is what experts often say is the place to start? How are you dealing with this as individuals – what makes you a more change-able person? Do we change best in response to a dream, to a design or is it disaster that propels us into action?

And speaking of change, here is a venerable Canadian institution – the National Film Board, that in celebrating its 70th birthday is eagerly embracing a new challenge – nothing less than “building our national competence in on-line communications” aka ”broad based digital literacy”! Well – let’s check what is your DQ (Digital Quotient of course!) – do you know the difference between a “webisode” and a “mobisode”? Thus won’t be a first for the NFB – John Grierson who was the first Commissioner of the Board, having directly caused its creation in 1939, is also credited with coining the term “documentary” back in the 1920-30s. So NFB – beacon of the future, then and now??

On a completely different note, do you feel the action – do you want to be part of the plan? Well, yes, transport BC 2040 invites you to join the conversation at for the 30 year visioning strategic plan. Exciting notion, interesting process, cool graphics. I wish others also invited us to “be part of the plan” – just imagine the liquor board or the lottery corporation seeking our collective wisdom!

Well, on SVT we will be asked our opinion very soon – and our (lengthy!) review of it at the last session did not necessarily help us understand at all – I for one must confess to still being confused. Did come across a useful site though – where they even have a game you can play to understand the concepts better – but who has the time?? One argument unmentioned to date is that it apparently allows to improve women’s representation and at the paltry 24% of BC MLAs who are women we have ways to go to catch up with some African nations… Anyway, whatever you beliefs are – do not forget to VOTE Tuesday May 12th!!!

And also, don’t stay home on May 13th (unless you have recently come back form Mexico!) – come to think, discuss, be inspired, and exchange ideas and insights, all you of interested, interesting, informed and informative folks in town.

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